Best Facial 2018 | Skin by Caleb | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Courtesy of Caleb McGrew

Extractions are one of the gnarliest but most necessary parts of a facial. On his social media accounts, aesthetician Caleb McGrew doesn't shy away from showing such behind-the-scenes parts of his skin-transforming services. And this is one reason he has such a cult following. After he clears the gunk from your pores, McGrew will give a stimulating facial massage and apply a goopy face mask from your forehead to chin. The standard facial starts at $95, or you can upgrade to a special algae mask made with 24-karat gold for $125. Find McGrew inside Junior & Hatter in Wynwood, where he takes appointments Tuesday through Friday. And be sure to follow him on Instagram (@skin_bycalebmcgrew) for weekly specials.

Threading, for the uninitiated, looks a bit like medieval torture. You lean back in a salon chair while someone rips out your stray eyebrow hairs using a long piece of thread and, sometimes, their teeth. But once you get used to the pain, the benefits are obvious: It's precise, chemical-free, and safer than pouring hot wax on your face. At Yodi Threading Spa, walk-ins are welcome, and sessions typically last less than ten minutes. And the prices are budget-friendly too: Brows cost $10, upper lip is $7, and if you're ready to get every last unwanted hair off your face, you can do that for just 30 bucks.

Courtesy of Elianne Donates Mesa

There are a few things a good manicurist should have: a steady hand, a sympathetic ear, and an eye for color. Elianne "Ely" Donates Mesa has them all. She is a triple threat. At her space inside the Phenix Salon Suites, Ely is known for her fastidious technique and knack for nail art. Regular manicures cost only $15, or you can upgrade to gel polish for $25. Perk up with a cup of coffee or wind down with a glass of wine — the choice is yours. You'll never do an at-home manicure again.

Courtesy of the Betsy Hotel

Living in Miami — the traffic, the heat, the yelling — can be a bit much. We all need to take time to relax every now and then. And there's no better way to de-stress from your day than with the Moonlight Sonata, a nighttime massage available between 8 and 11 p.m. at the Betsy Hotel Wellness Garden & Spa in South Beach. You'll be transported into a meditative state as you step onto the Zen-inspired spa deck decorated with bamboo, wood, and stone. And you can rest assured that all the products the therapist slathers on your body are natural and paraben-free. So throw away your cares, hop onto the massage table, and look up at the stars from your private cabana on the Betsy's rooftop while a therapist smoothes out all of those aching muscles. The Moonlight Sonata costs $230 for 60 minutes. The spa is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, based on availability.

Courtesy of Tierra Santa Healing House

Every spa offers massages and facials, but only at the Faena can you book a spa treatment developed by a shaman. That's right — Tierra Santa's menu of "body rituals" takes inspiration from mystical healers, as well as experts in the field including a holistic medical scholar, a licensed digestive health specialist, and an internist and cardiologist. It's all led by spa director Agustina Caminos, who's a Pranic Healing instructor and professor of yoga. Treatments such as the Masaje con Flor Blanca and Hammam Rose Ritual are as good for you as they feel. Like the rest of the resort, the spa's decor is both colorful and eclectic, a refreshing departure from the flowing curtains and bamboo floors that are standard issue at most spas. Oh, and Tierra Santa is 22,000 square feet. Sometimes you've gotta go big to find your Zen.

Courtesy of Dr. Ary Krau

Plastic surgery practices aren't burger joints or auto shops. They are places that will change your life forever, for better or worse. It's important that your choice of plastic surgeon be right on the first try, so firsthand reviews are essential to making an informed decision. Dr. Ary Krau has the good word of the people behind his work. A former University of Miami instructor who was featured on the Bravo reality series Miami Slice, he has a long list of clients who rave about his attention to detail and compassion. Patients routinely fly in from other states to have work done with Krau. This is the sort of thing that calms one's anxiety about the whole surgical process. Whether you're in desperate need of surgery or have always wanted something fixed, nobody in Miami provides services better than Dr. Krau. Ask the people — they'll tell you.

Courtesy of Iris Tattoo

You know, many tattoo parlors are pitch-dark, have inexplicably low ceilings, and always seem to be a boys' club where Slayer records play at volumes that can wake the dead. That's not Iris Tattoo, which is sure as hell a good thing. Iris sits inside a condo complex on North Miami Avenue in Wynwood — but the room is multiple floors up from the ground, and the floor-to-ceiling windows offer a panoramic view of the city while you sit for six hours getting that back piece inked up. There's even a balcony where you can take a quick breather. Iris' website says its parlor was designed this way on purpose: The teals, pinks, and yellows make the place look clean, fresh, and welcoming, and the owners told New Times last year that they opened their original shop in Buenos Aires after getting treated rudely at a local parlor. So this isn't the place to ask for gang tats, but that's a good thing. Iris happens to employ some of the best artists in town — Karry, in particular, specializes in delicate, linework-heavy pieces, from intricate Buddhist mandalas to mystical animals to Hayao Miyazaki characters.

Attention to detail, competence, and patience: Those are the attributes you should look for in a body-piercing artist. Empire Ink checks every box. The well-known and reliable artists, clean environment, and stellar reputation make this shop tops. In fact, we're confident in saying you'd be hard-pressed to do better. In terms of sheer variety, Empire Ink has you covered. Numerous artists can show you an astounding number of examples of past work. There are certainly many choices when it comes to body piercing, but Empire Ink is the only place you will ever want to visit. The shop also has locations in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton.

Courtesy of Cloverleaf Adult Video Store

Not everything has to happen on Amazon. Sometimes you actually want to, you know, see and touch a product before you buy it. Remember that? Remember shopping at, like, places? So weird. Sure, visiting Cloverleaf Adult Video Store isn't exactly running to Walmart for toothpaste and baking soda, but it's still a store! In 2018, sex should be something people openly talk about. Sex, in a way, is a craft, and Cloverleaf provides tools for the trade. What sets this place apart are the fun displays that offer just about everything one could imagine when it comes to fun between the sheets (and beyond). Do you like chocolate, vanilla, or grape so much you need condoms in that flavor? Well, you're in luck! Is a vibrator that looks like a bunny something you might like? Cloverleaf to the rescue! The store also carries a wide variety of adult videos, so there's something for everyone. If they don't have it, they'll find it. If they can't find it, they'll let you know where to find it. The staff is very helpful, and you won't feel odd asking them just about anything. It's all fun and games at Cloverleaf, which is how it should be. Open 24 hours.

Photo by Jesse Scott

You have not seen a flea market until you've visited the Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale. This place is nothing short of a spectacle, with nearly 2,000 vendors selling anything and everything on God's green earth. The Swap Shop is open seven days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), but the heart of the action happens on weekends. Things to check out: the expansive produce area, the indoor food court, and even a drive-in movie when the entire space is transformed into a 14-screen outdoor theater at night. The Swap Shop has been going strong since the '60s — it remains a South Florida icon and must-see.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®